Minot High School Central Campus

  1. PLC Story
  2. PLC Practices
  3. Achievement Data
  4. Awards
  5. Resources

Before we started PLC at Central Campus, our teachers had a “closed door” individualistic approach to teaching so learning was inconsistent and was dependent upon which teacher the students were assigned. Teachers who had weaknesses in certain areas were forced to struggle on their own to try and improve learning for their students. In an effort to alleviate this struggle, essential learnings were developed at Central Campus for each course. Essential learnings are the knowledge, skills and dispositions we expect students to acquire for each course. When departments started creating essential learnings and giving common formative assessments, the data from Mastery Manager showed discrepancies in student mastery of learning targets. Mastery Manager provides teachers with real time, actionable student performance data that is linked to our essential learnings. Furthermore, Mastery Manager allows our teachers to maximize time collaborating rather than correcting assessments, projects, and manually analyzing data. However, after sharing resources and working together, we now have data that shows students are learning more consistently in every class, regardless of the teacher, without lowering our standards of excellence. For example, the data shows that one teacher’s classes were significantly lower than those of his peers, but after collaborating in PLC, assessments given later over the same standard showed a marked improvement in proficiency on the standard. This improvement not only is greatly impacting students, but teachers are able to see the improvements as well, which creates a positive learning atmosphere.

Central Campus’ effort to improve learning for all students has moved beyond our school walls. In the 2010-11 school year, we hosted the first ND PLC Summit in Minot for teachers and administrators from all over the state. The majority of the presenters were teachers and principals from our school. In addition, teachers and administrators from other schools have visited our school in person and via Skype to learn from our teachers and observe the PLC process. In April 2015, The AdvancEd review team rindings recognized a spirit of professional collaboration and effective functionality of the PLC process as powerful practices. Teacher Julia Koble and Principal Keith Altendorf presented at the ND Fall Education Improvement Conference in October of 2010 to discuss our “Failure is Not an Option” mission statement and how PLC has affected that goal. Staff members from multiple departments have attended Solution Tree workshops as well as other PLC-based workshops such as PLC @ Work Institute, Assessment Institute & Summit, and Common Core Standards and Assessment. Also, four administrators and nine lead teachers attended a six-day PLC coaching academy designed to provide school leaders with the knowledge, tools, and skills to effectively coach our school and staff through the change process. In addition, the following PLC experts have provided professional development support at our school over the last several years.

The summer of 2011 the community of Minot was devastated by an enormous flood. Over 4000 homes were lost with 10,000+ people displaced. Thirty six percent of the Central Campus staff experienced flooded homes. In spite of this natural disaster, Central Campus maintained it's laser-like focus on student learning through the PLC process. 

1. Monitoring student learning on a timely basis.

All Central Campus teachers and administrators have access to student data, and regularly discuss individual, classroom, and subject area results in PLC teams. Learning targets are shared with students prior to learning the material and are often included on assessments so that the students are aware of their learning expectations. Teachers utilize the data analysis program Mastery Manager to monitor progress and identify learning targets that students are not mastering. Mastery Manager allows teachers to quickly analyze assessment data for re-teaching that focuses on specific gaps in student learning. This data allows for multiple intervention strategies such as team-teaching, re-teaching, and enrichment activities. Additionally, all teachers participate in the Intervention program where they are able to work with their students the last period of the day in tutorials and remediation. We have also experimented with using students as peer tutors during Intervention as well as partnered with Minot State University Teacher Education Program to give their student teachers student contact experience and also help with our student Intervention Program. Every three weeks, grades are checked to determine which students need to be placed into the Intervention Program. Students who are failing or near failing are assigned Intervention with the teacher of the class they are failing. This is directed and not by invitation. Teachers are also given the authority to place students into Intervention whose grades might not indicate the necessity.

None of this would have been possible without restructuring the school day to provide a common collaborative planning period for each department five days per week. During common planning periods, teams have also developed team norms, smart goals, essential learning standards, pacing guides, common formative and summative assessments, and common exemplars. Prior to developing essential learnings, departments looked at the state standards and ranked them for readiness, leverage, and endurance based on the work of Doug Reeves. In the content areas of math and English language arts, teachers have been reworking their essential learnings to align with the Common Core State Standards. This work will continue in the area of science as well. Departments also look at overall school-wide data, interventions, and best practices. Teachers take notes during department meetings that are stored in both digital and physical locations, as well as being provided to principals for artifact/evidence work for their PLC team. Teachers access data via the Mastery Manager program, MAP tests, State Assessments, SRI tests (Scholastic Reading Inventory-a reading assessment within the READ180 program), as well as district and state data. Administrators set a common SMART goal for all teachers, and departments are encouraged to develop team SMART goals as well as individual teacher goals. Vertical alignment is addressed in two ways: departments meet during common planning periods for both 9th and 10th grade teachers to communicate learning targets that might need more support or are finding success. Secondly, staff development days have been spent working with the same departments at the 11th and 12th grade campus for the same purposes as well as the three middle schools. Every teacher at Central Campus participates in an ongoing process of identifying the current levels of student achievement to improve student learning. Focus is made on the percentage of students reaching proficiency rather than an overall percentage. In 2014, the Minot Public Schools adopted the Marzano Teacher Evaluation Model which has a strong emphasis on monitoring for desired effects which includes but is not limited to student learning and engagement.

PLC History

In June of 2007, the Central Campus principals attended the Professional Learning Communities @ Work Institute and decided to make Minot Public Schools a PLC district. Principal Keith Altendorf spent the school year of 2007-08, during teachers' planning periods, explaining what a professional learning community was and encouraging staff discussion on how we could implement it. Eric Twadell visited the high school in February of 2008 for an all staff workshop on PLC. At the end of that school year, the school schedule was changed to allow for common planning time for each department, Intervention time was scheduled into the school day, and we added a requirement to each student to take seven classes per day. In addition, each department was given release time from classes to develop essential learnings and learning targets. We also created a SMART goal of having 92% of all students pass all classes. In 2008-09, we established a professional library of PLC books, workbooks and videos for teacher use. A 2009-10 PLC Academy Workshop was attended by eleven teachers and four administrators which then formed a PLC leadership team (iPLC). This team met with department chairs to assess progress for each department and met periodically throughout the year to address building concerns. During this time, departments developed common formative assessments and analyzed the data for student learning. The Mastery Manager data analysis online program was adopted for the school in January 2010. Since then, departments have used the Mastery Manager program to analyze data from common assessments to better student learning. In 2014, ND adopted the Common Core State Standards. In doing so, this caused our teachers to reevaluate what it is we want our students to know and be able to do.

2. Creating systems of intervention to provide students with additional time and support for learning.

Every three weeks, the administrators, counselors, and classroom teachers identify at-risk students who are in need of remediation due to grades or learning targets and assign them to Intervention. Intervention is a class in and of itself, held for 30 minutes last period of the day, and four days per week. Students spend time with the teacher who assigned them, or may rotate through multiple teachers if the student is struggling in multiple areas. Each teacher works with the student to re-teach concepts, gives additional time for work, and retest on subject matter that had proven difficult. Once the student has achieved proficiency, as determined by the teacher, he or she is released from the Intervention Program. All busing and extra-curricular activities are delayed until the Intervention period is complete.

In addition, teachers meet with their departments during common planning periods to discuss re-teaching methods, share resources, develop exemplars, and create enrichment activities for students who are meeting goals. Common assessments are examined to identify learning targets that are not being met and to develop strategies to meet those targets.

If students are not successful with those approaches, Mission Success (building level support teams) teams meet outside of class to discuss alternative strategies for success. Students who continue to not be successful start the journey up our pyramid of interventions until successful. We also have two alternative campuses that house students whose needs cannot be met at Central Campus. It should be noted that the failure data for Central Campus includes all students from the 9th and 10th grade alternative school called Central Campus Plus.

3. Building teacher capacity to work as members of high performing collaborative teams that focus efforts on improved learning for all students.

Departments are given common planning time and meet at least two times per week during that period. The Mastery Manager program provides an easier way to analyze data from common assessments and track student performance in a prompt, reliable fashion. SMART goals are assigned to individual teachers and departments develop content-specific goals, as well. The concept of using formative assessments to change instruction instead of measuring and moving on continues to be the culture of our school.

The iPLC team, which attended the PLC Academy in 2009, meets periodically to discuss school-wide issues and to develop action plans to address conflicts or challenges that arise. For example, some elective teachers have courses that are not taught by any other teacher so they were unsure how to address the common assessment goals or how to actively pursue the PLC ideals. The team took half of a school day to break into small groups and then meet with each of these teachers to help them develop plans and to make them feel they were part of our Professional Learning Community.  In addition, the district now provides several early-release days. This allows content area teachers, grades 6-12, to work collaboratively in order to eliminate curricular gaps and provide more consistent vertical alignment. 

Minot High School is unique in that we are the only high school in the state with a split campus and one of very few in the nation. Juniors and Seniors attend Magic City Campus while the Freshmen and Sophomores attend Central Campus. A shuttle transports students back and forth throughout the day for classes and extra-curricular activities. Though we are considered one school (MHS), our building functions as our own school separate from the other campus. In addition, because of our partnership with Minot Air Force Base and the influx of people working in the North Dakota oil industry, our population is constantly changing which brings both challenges and opportunities.

Percent of Students passing all classes at Central Campus: Our school adopted PLC in the 2007-08 school year.

 

 

 

2006-07

1st/2nd

Semester

2007-08

1st/2nd

Semester

2008-09

1st/2nd

Semester

2009-10

1st/2nd

Semester

2010 – 11

1st/2nd

Semester

2011-12

1st/2nd

Semester

2012-13

1st/2nd

Semester

2013-14

1st/2nd

Semester

2014-15

1st

 Semester

# of Students

 

961/961

 

988/988

929/929

936/936

938/928

946/942

970/950

1051/1028

1105

Total # of F’s

345/338

347/310

328/214

143/233

109/71

116/154

134/146

122/157

219

% of courses passed

 

94.5/94.6%

94.6/95.2%

95.0/96.8%

97.8/96.5%

98.3/98.9%

98.2/97.61%

98.0/97.8%

98.3/97.8%

97.1%

# of students with 1 or 2 F’s

 

128/134

141/143

100/110

82/84

64/42

74/110

85/68

106/114

90

# of students with 3 or more F’s

 

39/43

41/29

46/22

10/27

7/7

9/11

17/17

7/13

29

% of students who passed all classes

 

82.7/81.6%

81.6/82.6%

84.3/85.6%

89.6/88.2%

92.43/94.71%

91.22/89.53%

89.48/91.05%

89.2/87.6%

89.24%

               

 

North Dakota State Assessment: This assessment is actually taken at Magic City Campus during the students’ junior year. This is the year after they leave our school, Central Campus. This chart displays the % at or above proficient on the North Dakota State Assessment.

 

Math

Reading

Science

Grade 11

MHS/State

MHS/State

MHS/State

2006-07

62.0/56.8%

81.6/72.3%

65.5/61.7%

2007-08

59.4/55.5%

72.0/65.0%

65.7/58.8%

2008-09

59.1/56.9%

71.2/68.4%

58.3/60.9%

2009-10

55.4/55.1%

70.7/63.6%

64.1/59.5%

2010-11

55.5/59.4%

68.5/64.9%

64.3/62.0%

2011-12

57.7/57.3%

71.7/66.2%

63.1/61.6%

2012-13

56.6/58.4%

73.4/66.3%

69.8/64.3%

2013-14

60.0/58.8%

75.0/67.0%

68.3/65.2%

 

       

NWEA MAP (Measures of Academic Progress) Testing: This chart displays the % of students at or above grade level at Minot High School-Central Campus. It is given twice during the school year to measure individual student growth.

Spring Results by Year

MAP Math

MAP Reading

2007

60.2%

----

2008

62.5%

67.8%

2009

61.8%

64.8%

2010

71.3%

77.1%

2011

75.9%

76.7%

2012

76.0%

84.9%

2013

73.1%

80.0%

2014

73.5%

80.6%

 We set a Central Campus SMART goal that 92% of all Central Campus students would pass all classes while maintaining or exceeding current standards of excellence. Since becoming a PLC school, the percentage of students who have passed all classes at Central Campus has improved from 82% in the spring of 2007 to 95% in the spring of 2011. In addition, the total number of F grades issued during the same time period went from 338 to 71. Central Campus’ state assessment results have improved in math from 67% in 2005-06 to 78% in 2010-11, while reading scores have improved from 75% in 2005-06 to 78% in 2010-11. The ND MAP test also showed improvements with math scores improving by 13.3% from Spring 2007 until Spring 2014. Following suit, the ND MAP test indicated that reading scores improved by 12.8% during that same time span. 

  • Air Force Association Teacher of the Year
  • National Geographic Grosvenor Teacher
  • North Dakota Assistant Principal of the Year
  • North Dakota State Teacher of the Year
  • 3 Minot Teachers of the Year
  • 2 Former National Board Certified Teachers
  • Multiple Golden Apple Award winners
  • Multiple Lifetime Learning Award winners
  • State Music Educator of the Year
  • Tech department piloting an aerospace science curriculum from NASA
  • 4 National Geographic National Teacher Leadership Academy-Oceans
  • Siemen’s STEM Institute Fellow
  • National Writing Project Co-Director, local chapter
  • 3 authors (2 math, 1 science) for About Learning, Inc., curriculum series
  • Advanced Aerospace Science Instructor/Outstanding Instructor Award
  • North Dakota Agriculture Teacher of the Year
  • International Music Camps Fiddlers Hall of Fame
  • National Board Member of Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance
  • Read 180 Certified Teachers
  • North Dakota Driver’s Education Teacher of the Year
  • 10 Minot Public School District award winners for excellence in leadership, instructional excellence and as emerging young educator

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